The acceptance & impact of digital learning is growing at such a fast pace in India that a large number of educationists, schools and organisations are experimenting and trying innovative ways to leverage digital and personalize school education.
Numerous digital learning implementations are happening across the country in both private schools and government schools, and with every experience, the entire ed-tech fraternity is actively learning the most suited ways of delivering life shaping digital education.
One such aspect that we deeply think about, review our past experiences and learn about, is the choice of Digital Hardware for our schools.
We all have seen that a well thought and best suited digital hardware can bring amazing value to your schools whereas an ill thought and randomly chosen digital project can lead to wastage and negative experiences around digital learning.
With our experience, we at iDream Education have literally fallen in love with educational tablets and the amazing value they bring to digital education!
Educational tablets pre-loaded with play way content are redefining the way learning happens
1. Tablets best complement the student’s psychology
Haven’t we all seen how naturally children and learners connect to touch based devices?
An offline tablet with no mobile signals or rays, and only learning content for guided & monitored usage in the school makes a very strong case to happily engage the learners.
We can open up transformational possibilities once we align to the child’s psychology, and orient our digital solutions to excite them for proactive learning and growth.
Tablets can be one of the best ways of doing that.
The level of engagement and acceptance is by far the highest for tablets among all types of digital hardware, and that itself is the most important value they bring to personalised digital learning in schools.
2. They truly empower the teachers!
We can see that most of the times, the digital solutions that we setup thinking they will empower the teachers, actually become a burden for them and increase their operational & maintenance workload, rather than delivering learning value.
It happens all the more in government schools, which face issues like shortage of teachers, shortage of rooms, and teachers being tasked with additional government duties.
In one of our earlier blog, we had talked about the impact on student’s learning outcomes due to shortage of teachers and lack of classroom. You can read them here and here.
An educational tablet eases out the lives of these teachers as students use the tabs effortlessly and happily to learn. Even in situations, when the teacher is not available or otherwise busy, she can be rest assured that their students are not wasting time but happily continue their learning via the tablets.
Tablets can also help teachers to automate routine tasks like taking assessments, giving scores & getting instant reports which frees up their time to give personal attention to their students.
During our work in government schools, we have observed that once a teacher experiences the empowerment, that tablets work as their personal assistants and help them give attention and engagement to every child, they happily adopt these devices and then actively use them to deliver enjoyable and personalised learning for their students. And students love their teachers even more.
3. Tablets for school use are easy to set up and even easier to Maintain
To set up tablets in schools, you do not need additional fixed furniture as needed for computer labs, no UPS and no complex wiring or networking. Tablets are extremely easy to setup and use at schools.
Another major advantage is the proactive acceptance of android by the underserved masses. Everyone is already happily training themselves on how to use android devices and therefore it gives a great proactive push to regular usage and removes training barriers.
Android is a very stable platform and is largely free from crashes & viruses. Therefore from a software and operating system perspective too, tablets are therefore much easier to manage on a daily basis.
Lastly, even if tablets does stop working, it is still much easier to take them to a service centre and get them repaired/replaced.
4. Tablets remove electricity dependence and therefore learning never stops
Another point in favour of tablets for schools is that once completely charged, they can run for 6-7 hours which is almost the entire school working time. Hence, even if a school does not get electricity throughout the day, the learning never stops. In all situations, children can always continue to learn from the tablets.
In rural parts of India, where electricity supply is still irregular at many government schools, tablets can bring considerable value to school education delivery in all situations.
5. Rich & Engaging Content: From Animations & Digital Books to Learning Apps
Tablets & Mobile Devices offer a combination of touch/view/play & read forms of interaction, and therefore have been able to step up the engagement & excitement of our young learners.
If we go back to our first point on child psychology, the richness and variety of content holds great importance for positive acceptance by the students.
Firstly, it helps cover the entire learning spectrum effectively and secondly, it enables a very personalised usage experience respecting every student’s learning style and pace
This is a great enabler for the child and can bring amazing transformation in his orientation towards education and growth.
There is a very interesting case study that emerged from one of our schools that testifies the point being made above. It’s a story of Nisha, a class VI student in a government school in Rajasthan who loved reading books much more than her entire class. Please do give it a read here.
So, these are our five reasons why we believe you should consider tablets for your schools while setting up a digital learning lab. As an educator or an NGO, if you have already used tablets in schools, please do share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments section below. We can discuss, delve deeper and build better understanding on every aspect & best suited use cases of educational tablets for schools.
Will look forward to your comments and amazing discussions on this.